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Saddhā-Buddhist Confidence?

I recently watched this video and am now, yet again, in doubt about my practice.

What I got from the video (after watching it in it's entirety) is that there are 2 prerequisites to breathing meditation:

1) You need to be inspired by a person who has found/cultivated a deep state of serenity and kindness.

2) You must practice metta for a long time before beginning other forms of meditation.

Is he wrong? Is my interpretation of him wrong?

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited April 2014

    Sounds like complete nonsense.

    Here are the prerequisites for "breathing meditation":

    1) Being alive.
    2) Maintaining awareness/focus on your breathing.

    It also helps to:

    3) Be sitting upright (straight spine).
    4) Make sure you can breathe comfortably.

    You don't need to have mastered other practices before breathing meditation... in fact breathing meditation is one of the first ones that beginners are introduced to!

    jayneBunks
  • Not as an absolute, but those are good suggestions. Just there is more than one way and those two are good suggestions.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Unless he is YOUR teacher, what he says must be done doesn't really matter. They are good suggestions for some people. But not for everyone.
    Breathing meditation is what many other teachers and masters start with. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for anyone else.

  • yagryagr Veteran

    @buddhistok said:> What I got from the video (after watching it in it's entirety) is that there are 2 prerequisites to breathing meditation:

    1) You need to be inspired by a person who has found/cultivated a deep state of serenity and kindness.

    2) You must practice metta for a long time before beginning other forms of meditation.

    Is he wrong? Is my interpretation of him wrong?

    I would not deign to tell you that he is right or wrong. That said, it appears that you have been inspired to begin breathing meditation. At the very least, you've been inspired by Buddhist principles - and therefore you've been inspired by the Buddha himself. I think we can safely say that he found/cultivated a deep state of serenity and kindness.

    It is, at the very least, loving kindness toward yourself that has motivated you off the couch, away from the iPhone, and whatever else, to seek a solution in breathing mediation.

  • jaynejayne Explorer

    I would agree with what Aldris has said above. I started meditating about 20 years ago with simple meditation on the breath, it's a good method for beginners in my opinion. I only started doing Metta meditation about a year ago.

    I would suggest that keeping an open mind is helpful, and that there really is no 'one way' or 'right way' .. just a lot of different ways that can work well for people at different times in their lives, if something is working for you then that is good

    Toraldris
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Goodness I sounded crabby. Probably because I feel crabby! I apologize for my poor tone in my post above.
    All I meant was that if you follow everything every teacher says to do, you will end up mighty confused. If you don't have the ability to see a teacher in person, at least try to stick with a single teacher online until you get your meditation ducks in a row. Or at the very least, teachers from the same school. It is good to try different forms of meditation or visualizations and so on but best (in my opinion) to try to stick with one overall method. Otherwise it is like trying to follow the diet advice of every diet out there. Not only will you be unsuccessful but you will be more confused than ever.

    Toraldrisyagr
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @karasti said:
    Goodness I sounded crabby.

    If everyone in the world sounded as crabby as you, the world would be a much nicer place.

    lobster
  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    edited April 2014

    Metta meditation cannot be done enough. It's importance is EXTREMELY undervalued in modern western Buddhism in general.

    I've watched this video and I don't think I remember Ajahn Brahmali ever saying you have to do lots of metta before attempting other meditations, unless he is meaning in general before EACH meditation.

    I do practice metta first most of the time, I incorporate metta, samatha and vipasana all together in my practice. Doing metta first is a great way of setting up the mind for meditation imo.

    As for being inspired.. .well that goes without saying, why would you even bother trying to meditate in the first place if you were not inspired? There is a sutta passage that I can't seem to find directly right now but the buddha talks about how one listens to dhamma and becomes inspired, after inspiration comes desire, from desire springs effort and from effort springs practice and insight.

    What Saddha is, is confidence/faith. What this means is that when you see for yourself that the practice is of great benefit to yourself and others, your doubts begin to lessen until you have no doubts about what the buddha taught. Using myself as an example I can say I have developed a high degree of confidence and even faith in the western meaning, in what the Buddha taught. through my own practice and insights I have confirmed to myself so much of what the buddha taught, of course I'm not awakened or even a stream winner so I cannot say I have NO doubts at all, but at this point in my practice if I were a betting man I'd easily go "all in" on a bet that the buddha had it right.

    wangchueylobster
  • in doubt about my practice.

    Doubt is a dog. Sit anyway

    BhikkhuJayasara
  • wangchueywangchuey Veteran
    edited April 2014

    The word conviction is also used to define Saddha. Makes sense to have some level of conviction though, or else we would not try hard at all.

    lobster
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